(Simeon) had knowledge, through the Holy Spirit, that he would not see death till he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And full of the Spirit he came into the Temple; and when the father and mother came in with the child Jesus, to do with him what was ordered by the law, Then he took him in his arms and gave praise to God and said :
Now you are letting your servant go in peace, O Lord, as you have said; For my eyes have seen your salvation, Which you have made ready before the face of all nations; A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” (Symeon’s Canticle)
This light, this messenger, it is this small child, a first-born babe dedicated to the Lord by his parents who offer up a pair of doves in substitute sacrifice to God. Almost everything is said, already, by the Evangelist Luke (2, 22-4 ). In this episode, he tells and announces that the final act of Jesus’life, ” For having been put to the test himself, he is able to give help to others when they are tested. ” (Hb 2, 18 ) , will be to offer himself to God, his Father. However, it is of himself that he will do it then. Of his own free will, he will surrender his spirit the Father’s hands (Lc 23, 46 ). The offering, on the altar of the cross, will not be substitute: he will deliver his own flesh and blood.( Philippe Asso *Esprit et Vie n°140 -2005. )
And this is what actually happens each time a Mass is celebrated :
let’ s meditate upon this Mystery of God giving Himself up to God !